Impact Journalism Day by Sparknews: A better society - No. 39

A wind-powered generator built from scrap

Mr Oscar Pagoada (far left) and Mr Javier Caceres were forced into action by the 12-hour electricity blackouts which affect remote Honduran communities.
Mr Oscar Pagoada (far left) and Mr Javier Caceres were forced into action by the 12-hour electricity blackouts which affect remote Honduran communities.PHOTO: EL HERALDO

EL PARAISO (Honduras) • Sitting among the green hills of eastern Honduras is the town of El Paraiso. This is the home of two unassuming men who have created energy out of what most people would call "trash". They are not engineers, yet Mr Oscar Pagoada and Mr Javier Caceres have built a wind-powered generator using scrap metal and the magnets from microwave ovens.

The two men were forced into action by the 12-hour electricity blackouts which affect remote Honduran communities.

A look at their electricity bill was enough to ignite their passion for electronics and their motivation to help others. When his monthly bill came to US$52.80 (S$70), Mr Pagoada knew it was time to get to work.

 

Once he had built and set up his generator at home, the US$52.80 bill was cut to US$26.30. That was his inspiration and he contacted Mr Caceres, who is now in charge of assembling the generators.

"We take advantage of metal refuse, recycling them to build the generators," says Mr Caceres.

The winds blow strong in El Paraiso, and for these ingenious friends, wind is the force that makes their prototype function. "We had the materials and finished it in 15 days," says Mr Caceres, who still remembers the first time they saw the generator working. "It made us happy because we knew it would be of great help."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 25, 2016, with the headline 'A wind-powered generator built from scrap'. Print Edition | Subscribe